MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Standing in the middle of the 15th fairway at TPC Southwind with a sand wedge in his hands, Justin Rose had one thought: “I knew 59. That was really my primary goal,” he said.
Sub-60 rounds are golf’s ultimate double-edged sword. If you think about it, you’re playing well, but if you think about it, you’ll probably struggle with the extra pressure, meaning the closer you get, the harder it gets.
On Saturday at the FedEx St. Jude Championship, Rose’s quest to break the under-60 threshold fell two shots short after going 8 under for the day through 12 holes. He managed just one more birdie over his last seven holes for a course record of 61.
FedEx St. Jude Championship full field scores
“I knew 59 was clearly in the cards,” said Rose. “The last two holes the wind picked up. We’re on the brink of a storm it feels like, and the last two holes have been pretty tricky. But in the end I am happy with two pars.”
At last year’s RBC Canadian Open, the Englishman had an even better chance of shooting a 59. He only needed to pair up the last hole, but he missed the fairway with his No. 18 tee and bogeyed for a 60.
“That was a bad 60, a hard 60 to take because I didn’t feel like I was doing much wrong. You don’t get the chance to shoot 59 very often, so when it happens you naturally want to grab it,” said Rose, who has rounds of 76-67-61 this week and finished tied for 19th when he completed his round. .